Fast food is comforting, but in low-income areas it crowds out fresher options

<span class="caption">Many Americans find comfort in familiar fast-food meals, but they undercut local food security.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/elevated-view-of-a-tray-with-fries-a-hamburger-and-royalty-free-image/dv1897014" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Getty Images">Getty Images</a></span>
Many Americans find comfort in familiar fast-food meals, but they undercut local food security. Getty Images

Many Americans take comfort in the routine of jumping into the car and grabbing a burger. They choose restaurants with familiar faces behind the counter. They even yearn for a favorite “greasy spoon” diner while having to cook for themselves at home during COVID-19.

People feel emotionally attached to food and the routines associated with it. These rituals provide a sense of comfort and belonging – even if the meal is from a fast-food restaurant and they stood in line for it.

I study food security in California’s Central Valley, which is, ironically, one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. Food security means maintaining reliable, consistent access to food. It requires time and resources that are often scarce in food-insecure households.

Many people in the food-rich Central Valley experience

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4 Delectable Packaged Food Stocks to Nourish Your Portfolio

The U.S. packaged food industry appears to be on a roll, courtesy of the rising demand for essentials amid the coronavirus-led stockpiling as well as increased at-home consumption. Well, the stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures issued in March have highlighted a paradigm shift in consumer spending patterns, including increased buying of packaged food and related items. With more Americans staying at home, food consumption and demand has gone up significantly.

Incidentally, the ready-to-cook and other packaged food and beverage items are moving off the shelves faster than usual, whereas away-from-home food options have been off the table. Increased stay-at-home, work-from-home and dine-at-home trends have majorly stimulated demand for packaged food products, as they are easy to make, comfort food and also considered safer compared to outside food. Additionally, these non-perishable items can be piled up and stored, saving consumers from going out to buy food too often.

Limited

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Our food reviewer finds something to like at 5 new restaurants

The restaurant business is tough at the best of times, but opening during a pandemic, when diners often couldn’t even enter your restaurant? That levels up the difficulty to a mind-boggling degree. Several Sacramento eateries whose opening plans collided with a historic crisis have waded into the fray, trying to build a customer base through word of mouth, takeout and delivery.

Some newcomers have done well with casual, focused menus, including street food like tacos and other items well adapted to takeout. Madar Afghan Fusion Street Food — the area’s first to focus on Afghan and Uzbeki street food — was in the works for eight months. The Roshan siblings’ new restaurant is a tribute to their mom’s home cooking (the name means Mother), with dough made from scratch to their mother’s specifications for their bolani (filled flatbread) and tandoor-baked samosas — a popular Uzbeki street food, according to brother

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5 of the best food processors worth investing in

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A great food processor is like having a second pair of hands in the kitchen, as they help you prep ingredients quickly.

From chopping onions to mincing meat, these versatile appliances take seconds to slice, grate and chop – most can even knead dough, too. 

They’re not the cheapest kitchen utensil but, given that we’ve all become chefs and bakers in the making during lockdown, now seems as good a time as any to invest.

Online electrical retailer, AO.com, has reported sales of food preparation appliances have risen by 510% year-on-year as Brits seek to recreate date night and ‘fakeaways’ at home – and a food processor is in the top three.

So, without

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